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Саржина - теоретическая фонетика английского.doc
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11 Lecture 14.11.11

An allophonic transcription, which is also called a narrow transcription, is based on the principle one symbol per one allophone. An allophonic transcription provides a special sign for each variant of the phoneme. The symbols are placed between square brackets and there are usually diacritic marks used [t̬] letter, [ẽ] - men, nasalization, [ł] – dark l, [ḍ] - devoiced. (notebook)

Nowadays the most widely used transcription is the international phonetic transcription it was devised by the international phonetic association in 1904. It's a phonetic alphabet which can be applied to most of the world languages. The transcription also has a broad and a narrow types. The broad one is based mostly on Latin symbols. The narrow one makes use of diacritic marks.

The Syllabic structure of English

  1. Syllable as a phonetic and phonological unit

  2. Functions of the syllable

  3. Types of syllables

  4. The structure of the English syllable

  5. The main rules of syllable division in Modern English

  6. Theories of syllable formation and syllable division

  1. Syllable as a phonetic and phonological unit

Sounds are the smallest segments into which the speech continuum is divided for purposes of analysis. But in real speech sounds are not pronounced separately and sometimes it's practically impossible to draw boundaries between them. If we slow down our speech and try to articulate sounds distinctly, we shall see that the smallest units into which the speech continuum is divided are syllables. J. Kenyon: the syllable is one or more speech sounds forming a single uninterrupted unit of utterance, which may be a whole word (e.g. man) or a commonly recognized and separable subdivision of a word (e.g. En–glish) or a word form (e.g. late – later). The syllable can be considered as both a phonetic and a phonological unit. As a phonetic unit the syllable can be characterized in articulatory, auditory and acoustic terms with the universal application for all languages. Acoustically and auditory the syllable is characterized by the force of utterance (accent or stress), by pitch of the voice, by length and others. Auditorily the syllable is the smallest unit of perception, which means that the listener first identifies the syllable and only after that its sound structure. The articulatory energy constituting the syllable results from the combination of actions of the vibrator, resonator and obstructor

As a phonological unit the syllable can be described only with the reference to the particular language, because each language has its own rules of combining phonemes into syllables. Some combinations of phonemes are permissible in the language, others are not, that's why one and the same word can be interpreted differently in terms of its syllabic structure by the speakers of different languages. E.g. Kna-be, /kənɑːbə/. The ancient Greeks noticed that vowels and consonants fulfill different functions in speech. The function of a vowel is to occupy the central position in sound combinations, while consonants serve as margins of the sound combinations. The very term consonant means sounding with something. Vowels are always syllabic and consonants are incapable of forming syllables without vowels, but in some languages (e.g. English) some sonorant consonants can be syllabic (m,n,r).